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Ralston Purina Company

by Todd R. Bromley

          The Ralston Purina Company was founded in 1894 as the Robinson Danforth Commission, in St. Louis Missouri. William H. Danforth, the company’s founder started the company as a horse and mule feed business. In the early 1900s, the company began selling breakfast cereal under the Purina label. The word Purina had been coined from the company slogan, “Where purity is paramount.” The cereal was later renamed Ralston Wheat Cereal after receiving the endorsement of a well-known doctor of the day, Dr. Ralston. In 1902, the “Ralston” and “Purina” names were joined, and the company was officially renamed.

          During the formative years of the business, the emphasis was on agricultural animal feeds and hot breakfast cereals. It wasn't until the late 1920s that the first commercial pet food diet was developed by Ralston, giving birth to today's multi-billion dollar pet food industry. Today, more than a century after its founding, Ralston Purina is the world's largest producer of dry dog foods, which are marketed under the Purina brand name.

          The Ralston Purina Company employs over 19,000 people world wide, and over 8,000 nationally. In 1986,Ralston Purina opened the Purina Farms visitors' center in Gray Summit, Missouri. Surrounded by more than 1,500 acres of farmland, Purina Farms offers many attractions including over 60 canine events.

          Ralston Purina continues to lead the way into the 21stcentury setting standards that other pet food companies can only hope to keep up with. Whether it's funding their own veterinary college program or funding individual research into veterinary medicine, Ralston Purina continues to be at the forefront in veterinary nutrition.

          Ralston Purina offers a variety of moist and dry dog foods to the individual pet owner as well as to the professional breeder. From puppies to seniors and everything in between, Ralston Purina has it covered. They also offer free membership into the Purina Pro Club, which has been revised as of January 2001. As part of the re-launch, Purina is introducing new puppy starter kits, a Purina Pro Club rewards catalog, and a redesigned Purina Pro Club web site that features online shopping and individual membership information. As a member, you'll save 4, 8, or 11 cents a pound on participating Purina brand dog foods, just by saving and submitting weight circles from bags of Purina dog foods. The new Purina Pro Club also offers incentive rewards based on a point redemption system. Members will accrue Purina points when they submit weight circles, send in names of new puppy owners, or recruit breeders who become active members of the Purina Pro Club. Purina points can be redeemed by choosing items from the Purina Pro Clubs rewards catalog. The catalog includes selected merchandise from the "Chosen By Champions" line, plus dog items, personal selections, gift certificates to restaurants, retail stores and hotels, and credit for veterinary services. Rebates for Purina brand dog foods also will be made available through the rewards catalog. You will also receive a free subscription to Today's Breeder magazine as well as puppy starter kits, health record charts and product coupons.

          The Ralston Purina Company is a friend to all-domestic canines and felines and has literally donated over thousands of tons of pet foods to animals that have been caught up in natural disasters, animals that have been placed in shelters, and dogs that participate in Field Trials, and other Agility Events and Competitions.

          The Ralston Purina Company has been supporting Beagling events for nearly three decades. Sponsoring and donating to local, regional, and national events that are to numerous to number. Purina is the sole sponsor of the prestigious Purina Beagle Awards. The program is designed to stimulate additional interest in all field competition and give due credit to the owners, dogs, and handlers. The owner of the Beagle hounds emerging as the Outstanding Field Trial Brace and Outstanding Field Trial SPO Beagle of the year are awarded a specially designed Purina award wall plaque and an original oil painting of their outstanding field trial Beagle by one of the country's leading artist. The handler of the winning hound receives an engraved plaque and $1,500 cash. Each receives 500lbs of Purina brand dog food.

          This year’s recipients of Purina’s Outstanding SPO Field Trial Beagle Awards are:

SPO - 13 inch Bitch
FC Yelverton's Darnit
owner: William Wright, VA
handler: Philip Kallan, VA

SPO - 13 inch male
FC Barbee Chubby Man
owner: Stewart Joyner, NC
handler: Eddie Gooch, NC

SPO - 15 inch Bitch
FC Haw Creek Blue Bonnie
O/H Daniel Brinsky, PA

SPO - 15 inch male
FC Brinsky's Run Em Over Tank
O/H Daniel Brinsky, PA

          There are many good dog Food Company's out there who produce a quality product. Many of them are also involved in the sport of Beagling. However, you won't find any company that has supported the beagle community the past 30 years like the Ralston Purina Company has. It is for this reason that I personally use and recommend Purina brand dog foods.

          There are many good dog Food Company’s out there who produce a quality product. Many of them are also involved in the sport of Beagling. However, you won’t find any company that has supported the Beagle community the past 30 years like the Ralston Purina Company has. It is for this reason that I personally use and recommend Purina brand dog foods. A special thanks to Rita James for her helpful input into this article. You can also visit them on the web at

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).